Canon PowerShot G5 X Review

Key Features

  • 20.2MP 1"-type BSI CMOS sensor
  • DIGIC 6 processor
  • F1.8-2.8, 24-100mm equiv. lens
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Built-in ND filter
  • 3" fully articulating touchscreen LCD
  • 2.36M-dot electronic viewfinder
  • 1080/60p video
  • Wi-Fi with NFC

The PowerShot G5 X is one of the latest members of Canon's 1"-type sensor family, which began with the G7 X in 2014. It takes what made that camera appealing - namely its sensor, lens, and direct controls, and puts them into a body that adds an electronic viewfinder, fully articulating touchscreen LCD, hot shoe, and additional control dial - all without a large increase in size.

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The G5 X's 20.2MP 1"-type BSI CMOS sensor - designed by Sony and first used in its RX100 II and III - performs very well and, given that the image pipeline on the G5 X is the same as its predecessor's, should continue to do so. The 24-100mm F1.8-2.8 optically stabilized lens is also the same as on the G7 X, so there shouldn't be any surprises there, either.

From a feature standpoint, the G5 X is essentially the same as the G7 X. You've got your manual exposure controls, customizable buttons and dials, built-in neutral density filter, Raw support, 6 fps continuous shooting (JPEG only), a fun star trail mode, 1080/60p video recording and Wi-Fi with NFC. 

Sadly, two of the G7 X's most disappointing traits have carried over to the G5 X, namely sluggish Raw shooting performance and lackluster battery life. 

Meet the Family

From left to right: the PowerShot G1 X Mark II, G3 X, G5 X, G7 X, and G9 X

There are now five members in Canon's premium compact' family: the G1 X Mark II, G3 X, G5 X, G7 X and G9 X. The G1 X Mark II is the flagship model, using a considerably larger 1.5"-type sensor instead of the 1"-types used by the rest of the group. 

The G7 X is Canon's original 1"-type sensor camera, and the models that have followed are a variation on the same theme. The G3 X is the long zoom model, the G5 X is for the EVF crowd, and the G9 X is an ultra-compact model with a shorter, slower lens. 

Here's a quick table to help you sort out the differences between the five models:

  G1 X Mark II G3 X G5 X G7 X G9 X
MSRP $799 $999 $799 $699 $529
Sensor 12.8MP 1.5"-type CMOS 20.2MP 1"-type BSI CMOS
Lens (equiv.) 24-120mm
24-100mm F1.8-2.8 28-84mm
LCD size/type 3" tilting touch 3.2" tilting touch 3" rotating touch 3" tilting touch 3" fixed touch
EVF Optional Yes No
Hot shoe Yes No
JPEG burst 5.2 fps 5.9 fps 6.5 fps 6.0 fps
Video 1080/30p 1080/60p
Audio in/out No Yes No
Battery life (CIPA) 240 shots 300 shots 210 shots 210 shots 220 shots
Dimensions 116 x 74 x 66mm 123 x 77 x 105mm 112 x 76 x 44mm 103 x 60 x 40mm 98 x 58 x 31mm
Weight 553g 733g 377g 304g 185g

That'll do it for comparisons - let's dive into the world of the PowerShot G5 X now.